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4 HVAC Tips for Pet Owners

Pets often become part of the family. Unfortunately, these four-legged family members can cause a lot of problems for your HVAC system. If you have pets and want to take better care of your HVAC system, check out these four tips.

1. Look Out for Pet Hair

If you have pets, you need to consider the amount of hair in the HVAC system and floating throughout your indoor air. Naturally, some breeds of cats and dogs shed more than others, but if even if you have one dog or cat, it is recommended to check and change your filter frequently. This helps ensures the filter is clean enough to do its job, and it also limits the amount of pet hair in the air.

Besides keeping the filter clean, you need to frequently sweep and vacuum your home, especially if you have carpeted floors, which can store a lot of animal hair and dander. Groom and bathe your pet regularly. Too much animal hair and dander in your indoor air can cause sneezing, coughing, runny nose, red eyes, itchy skin and other allergy-related symptoms.

2. Secure Your Outdoor AC Unit

Securing your outdoor AC unit is always a good idea to reduce the risk of damage, but if you have a dog, keep them away from the outdoor unit. Your dog may pee on the AC unit, and the ammonia and other corrosive chemicals in the dog’s urine can actually damage the refrigerant coil.

If your dog likes to spend time outside, the outdoor AC unit may become an attractive chew toy. Many dogs chew on the AC wiring or metal house that protects the AC unit. Not only is this bad for your AC unit, but it can be dangerous for your dog.

3. Keep All Vents Covered

Forced-air heating and cooling uses ducts and vents to transport the heated air. Unfortunately, these ducts can be a welcoming adventure to smaller animals like cats and ferrets. If your vents are damaged, making it easy for the pet to move them or slip through gaps, these little critters can get trapped in the vent.

Naturally, this is terrifying for a pet owner, but even if your pet returns unharmed, you don’t know what they did in the ducts. They may have created a hole, which reduces the efficiency of the system, or they may have defecated or urinated in the ducts, which can spread smell and disease. In a worst case scenario, your beloved pet may get trapped and pass away in the duct, which can also spread odor and disease.

4. Consider Everyone’s Level of Comfort

When you have pets, you need to consider their level of comfort too. For example, if you have a dog with a thick coat, they don’t need much heat during the winter, but they may get overheated before you in the summer. Similarly, a small dog with a short coat may feel comfortable in a warm summer home but freeze in a winter home, even if you are warm.

Of course, you aren’t going to only adjust the temperature for your pets, so it’s important to a compromise. If you have a small dog with a short coat who sleeps in a crate at night make sure they have plenty of blankets on winter nights. At the same time, consider adjusting the temperature when the pet is home alone.

Just because you have a forced-air HVAC system doesn’t mean you can’t have pets. However, it does mean you have additional concerns like pet hair. If you would like to learn more, or if you need HVAC maintenance, contact us at Advanced Heating & Cooling today.